Exemplifying the Resilience of Solar and Batteries: Stories Unveiled in the Wake of Cyclone Gabrielle

At SEANZ we recognised the true resilience offered by solar and battery systems when Cyclone Gabrielle unleashed its force on the upper North Island of Aotearoa. However, through conversations with individuals and listening to their stories, we discovered these systems offered more than just the ability to "keep the lights on." They provided a remarkable sense of emotional support during challenging times. One couple, who had a Tesla Powerwall installed in their home, expressed, "It gave us a sense of well-being that we were safe and connected." In many instances, these solar-powered homes became community hubs, welcoming neighbours for warm meals, hot showers, and phone charging.

The impact extended beyond residential settings, as a business owner successfully sustained operations during the six-day power outage, thanks to solar and batteries. This demonstrated their autonomy and ability to provide support to the local community.

SEANZ urges the central and local Government to reconsider the significance of solar and batteries in a new light. They not only offer a means to reduce carbon emissions but also provide a way to alleviate pressure on communities when faced with severe weather events resulting from climate change.

To speed up the adoption of solar and battery systems, additional funding mechanisms are crucial. Community-based organisations like Marae and Community Centres, where people gather, would greatly benefit from such initiatives.

Thank you to Laura Andrews from Ecoefficient, Aaron Duncan from Freenergy, Laura Duncan from Harrisons - Hawkes Bay Branch and to those who shared their stories with us. To listen to their firsthand experiences, please click here.

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